MARCH 15, 2015 by Stephen McLaren
more Carl Sagan

  One of the most visionary astro physicists of all time

See Carl when Live > October 13, 1994


From a distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it is different and special.  If you will, consider that dot.

That dot is here.  That dot is home. That dot is us. Everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was or is, both lived and live out their lives on that dot.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, the thousands of confident religions, the ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilisation, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, every hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every noble or corrupt politician, every ‘superstar’, every ‘supreme leader’,  every saint and sinner in the history of our species live or lived there, on a speck of dust suspended in its life giving sunbeam.

Our Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of our dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they were to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, our delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world yet known, so far as we know, to harbour life as we know it. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes.  Settle . . . not yet.  So like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience and there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish our pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known, or possibly will ever know.

BELOW - on this web page > Take a look at the Philosophy links V B & A of Humanism

See also Carl's view on human arrogance HERE